Elderberry Licorice Cough Syrup

October is a hard month in our household.  It seems as soon as we start school we pass one thing or another through the house like wildfire.  I have been sick now for 3 weeks straight.  Nothing terribly serious…. just a cold, and then a mild flu, and then a cough and cold mix that has hung on like an angry wolverine….  I generally just wait these things out, but sleep is essential for healing bodies, and when our sleep is interrupted by a cough, I have to do something.  That is where this recipe came in.

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Elderberries are a perfect immune system booster.  Filled with tons of Vitamin C** these little purple-black beauties are an amazing.  Mixed with licorice root, which helps with sore throat and coughing, this is the super food syrup which is sure to speed up the recovery process and help you sleep… at least it did us!


Elderberry Licorice Cough Syrup
  • 2 cups dried elderberries
  • 3 Tbs dried licorice root
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 cups of water
  • a lot of honey
  • sauce pot
  • cheese cloth
  • strainer
  • funnel
  • air-tight bottle (for storage)
Add water and elderberries to a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  When the mixture starts to boil, turn down to med-low and allow to simmer for a long while.  A couple hours at least. 

When the berries are soft and the liquid is dark purple, add in the cinnamon sticks and licorice root and boil for another 30 minutes.

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Using the cheese cloth laid into the strainer, strain the liquid from the berries and herbs, being sure to get as much liquid out as you can. 

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Rinse the pot and add the liquid back into it.  Add a equal amount of honey (about 3 cups usually) to the liquid and bring to a boil for just a second and stir constantly. 

Allow to cool.

Add to the air-tight jar and store in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. 

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**One word about using this herbal remedy – It is extremely high in Vitamin C, which is a water soluble vitamin and so you can have a lot of it.  However, if you do start to notice a diuretic effect (if you get the runs) then cut back a bit on how much you are taking.**

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